Thursday, 29 October 2009


I have been watching some films about experimental animation and have been quite taken by Norman Maclarens styles of animation through the years. From him living with chickens for a day; to the way he involved simpleification of the medium. The way he stripped down the nature of animation about as far as you could go with both 'Vertical Lines' and 'Horizontal Lines' put a few ideas in my head. (The only way he could have gone further was to take the colours out-this would have been done if it was ever televised at the time!)
This kind of animation could be done by layering gels (lighting gels) and moving them in time with the music to create a rythmical narritive. The next thing i have to do is build a rig and borrow a camera. Lucky enough i have a light which could be addapted (old 200w disco light).
I have also watched some old 'dope sheet' programs, and the Beyond dope sheet programs.
This also gave me a few ideas, the oil on glass thing looked good; then i thought maybe mixing those two styles together i could come up with something a bit more experimental. We will see.

Emotional Guy

Our task this week for our charecter animation was to animate a person whos mood changes from one moment to another. My character is going from sad to overjoyed. I feel the best aspect of my animation is the way the guys chest is heaving and his shoulders are rising and falling. He even makes me feel sad.
The way i would improve it ( i know, i still have time but at the moment i have caught a lurgy and it would not be fair to come into the studio), is to make the first pose more expressive and hyper-typical of the emotion i want to portray. I am happy with the format i am using, and the next peice or work will incorperate my newly acquired knowledge of the bone tool.

As for drawing...

I have been keeping my sketchbook up to date, and as soon as i get a camera that works (i know, slackness) we will have a load of them posted on the Blog,

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Cool video

This is like a clash between visual and aural mediums coming from a totally different angle, using the hands on approach of a turntablist, as a zoetrope. This is then married with several different digital mediums to create some nice looking kalidoscopic effects.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

The lift so far.

This is the first run through of my lifting animation. I am using flash because i feel it is a very powerful tool and that it has been under-used by me so far. I want to develop the images that i am using in photoshop in future to give more detail. But this is a bit of fun and something i am going to do a lot more of.

The guy has actually got four heads; each one with a different expression on; even tho this was not part of the exercise. I am thinking of giviing him another couple of sets of feet so he will not look so flat footed. This is yet to come.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

The pick up..

I must admit; i am having trouble getting my head around the controls of the Dee rig. I have decided to stick to what i know i can produce an animation of someone picking a weight upin, namely flash.
I am going to try and pick someones brains tomorrow (if there is anyone available), to run through the controls on the Dee model, as i live afar from uni and am deprived of the software at the moment. This has stopped me from tinkering with the 3D model at home.
Having someone to act out the pick-up would be a help also; for the timing and stature, as i do not want to jib it and just copy the poses out of the 'animators survival guide'.
Today i have designed a 2D character in flash and made him very posable. With the help of the various transform commands in flash i should be able to come up with a believable sense of weight.
I think that the way the feet are positioned along with the anticipation should make or break this little scene, hopefully by this time tomorrow i should have some kind of developement to show you.
Until then, laters.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Thoughts on the structure of sound.

I have read a bit about how people have bridged the gap between ssound and pictures in the past and have decided to break down the experimental peice of music into its smallest repetative part and express that as a visual; using pitch and lenght of note to get a shape which can then be repeated to form a pattern. A medium and colour palette can then be applied to suit the mood of the music. This should result in some visuals which should be in time with the music and convey the same feeling as the piece.
An experimental piece is to follow.

Walk Cycle

As i have not got Maya at home at present i thought i would do the walk cycle in flash; with all the constituent parts of the body in different colours so you can see what is going on.

This cycle is over 12 frames, which i feel is about the minimum you need to get a walk across. Also i feel the stride on the black leg is a bit too long; giving the appearence of a limp; but overall i think it is not too un-natural. I know that this walk cycle is going to get torn to pieces; and yes it is one of the disiplines that i have been neglecting; this exercise high-lighted that, and the need for at least one walk cycle to be done every week. Promise.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Ok, lets get on with it!

The second year has begun and a few projects have already been put on the table for us to think about.
The experimental animation class is something i am really looking forward to, and i have already had a mad idea which involves getting my hands dirty. The medium i am going to be using is poster paint and a rough form of printing. While the paint is wet a mirror image of the paint is taken and then a mirror of that is taken again and hey-presto, you have a frame !
This should end up with a vivid coloured, moving paint shape which i can move to the time of the music. The peice of music i am going to use is the forth one; it conjours up late nights in downtown Chicago; bleary eyed detectives driving through neon drenched streets; fly-overs and sleezy all-night bars.
The choice of colour and the amount of colour i use are going to be of great importance in this project; the way that the colour travels across the paper is also of great importance. I am thinking a right to left shift of colours to suggest some kind of car journey.
Before i get ahead of myself; lets go buy some paint......

What do you want to see and hear more about?